Potty Training Your Dog; What Really Works?

How to potty train your dog when he is a puppy

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As we all know, potty training a puppy is no easy task. In fact, I really, really hate it.

When I was fostering dogs, I’d take in a potty trained older dog no problem. It didn’t matter if they had other issues, like if they’d had biting problem, or resource guarding, or dog aggression, etc. Those were things I felt like I could handle. But a dog that wasn’t potty trained, that’s what scared me.

Potty training can be really hard or really easy. Honestly, I think a lot of it depends on your dog and how quickly they pick up on things. Some dogs understand it right away and their lucky owners are like, I don’t get what the big deal about potty training is.

Some dogs are so bad at potty training. They either don’t get it or don’t care, and you’ll probably want to pull your hair out of your head as you’re cleaning up the 50th mess in the house when you swear you only turned your back on them for a second.

Trying to stay on top of your dog’s potty training has its’ difficulties, and there are times when you may get caught off guard by some of their ‘surprises.’ Here are some tips that we think are a good foundation in house training your pet.

1. Designate a ‘Potty Spot’

You have to stay consistent, and get your pet into a routine. Find a place where they like to go (outside), and make sure to take them there every time. By teaching them that is the appropriate place to go to the bathroom, they will hop into a routine. Try using a certain part of the yard; whether it be the front yard, back yard, side yard, there are options!

This can also help your new dog know if you’re letting them out to play, or if you’re letting them out to do their business. Many owners struggle with potty training their new dog because when they go outside with it, their dog just thinks it’s play time and forgets to do it’s business. By marching them out to the business part of the yard, they’ll stat to realize that this is a business trip and that playtime can come later.

As an added bonus, if you can teach your dog to only go potty in one part of your yard, then it saves your entire yard from becoming covered in poop and pee spots. This also makes clean up a lot easier when there’s only one spot that you have to go to.

2. Puppies go to the bathroom – A LOT

Be sure to tend to your pet frequently; try taking them out every 2-3 hours to avoid accidents. Maybe even every hour when they’re first learning the hang of things. Just like a baby, they can’t control it, or know when to go – be proactive! Also, make sure to let them out 15-25 minutes after eating or sleeping.

It’s a lot, I know. However, just remember that they won’t be puppies for long and older dogs have much better bladder control.

3. Rewards for a Job Well Done

Just like a human, we all like being rewarded for doing a good job. Enforce a successful bathroom break with a small treat, affection, or whatever you decide is up to par. Make sure to give them praise as they’re going and give them the treat immediately after they finish. Dogs won’t really understand why they were given praise or a treat after the fact. They tend to live in the moment.

What are your best tricks for potty training your dogs? Share with us below.

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